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Poster: billbarstad Date: Jan 14, 2010 7:26pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Are these public domain?

Sounds like you're describing a small (or smaller) -minded Raymond Rohauer.

This post was modified by billbarstad on 2010-01-15 03:26:16

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Poster: guyzilla Date: Jan 14, 2010 10:15pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Are these public domain?

Who's that? Really, I don't know.

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Poster: Video-Cellar Date: Jan 14, 2010 10:22pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Are these public domain?

Raymond Rohauer was a film exhibitor and collector who died in 1987. He distributed Buster Keaton's movies for a while and collected lots of rare silent and early sound films. Sometimes he renewed the copyrights on these films through dubious means ("She" for example). He was well know for pursuing people through the courts for violating the copyright in movies like "Birth of a Nation" long after they had lapsed.

If you know who people like William K Everson (lost films hunter) and David Shepard (Blackhawk Films) are, Rohauer is the antithesis of them. They collected, preserved and made films widely available to the public. Rohauer seems to have been equal parts "look what I've got" and "look what you don't have". If he was in an early western movie, he'd be wearing a black hat.

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Poster: Video-Cellar Date: Jan 14, 2010 10:10pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Are these public domain?

I've heard that said before. But I don't know that Williams is quite as bad as Rohauer was.

There are apparently a number of silent films Rohauer had the final extant copy of that he allowed to disintegrate in their cans because the studios would not give him copyright. But he take over US copyrights to many films and pursued people in the courts for violating the copyright in PD movies.

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Poster: billbarstad Date: Jan 15, 2010 5:28am
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Are these public domain?

That does make him worse. I didn't know he let films just disappear. I certainly don't like it that his name is in the titles of some of my silent movies that he 'restored'.

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Poster: billbarstad Date: Jan 15, 2010 9:56am
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Are these public domain?

and/or copyrighted.

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Poster: PublicDomainForever Date: Jan 15, 2010 11:08am
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Are these public domain?

Sad that there are so many unscrupulous people in the world when it comes to rare films. Folks like that give humanity a bad name.

So, is the old version of SHE Public Domain? I know that Ray Harryhausen oversaw a colorization of it by Legend Films a couple of years ago, and it looks great. Ray is a god among mortals, not to mention a stop frame genius!!

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Poster: billbarstad Date: Jan 16, 2010 5:06am
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Are these public domain?

Wade Williams and Raymond Rohauer have behaved badly and definitely haven't been a friend of the public's rights, but their acts are insignificant compared to those of the studios and Congress. How many movies were lost forever when studios destroyed prints to recover silver in film stock or by improper storage? Congress added the right to a lengthy copyright renewal, and has since made renewal automatic. More recently, Congress created the DMCA to protect the movie industry's business model from what it sees as piracy and extinguishing the public's right to fair use. It's forcing smaller countries to create their own DMCA-style protections using trade agreements like CAFTA. Then there's the President, whose representatives are in secret negotiations with our large trading partners for new copyright protections in the ACTA treaty.